Nutanix Volumes with Microsoft Windows


The Windows ISCSI Initiator is a part of Microsoft’s Window Server 2008,2012.2016,2019 operating system and the main aim is to allow a client machine to access any sort of storage device and so forth, regardless of whether the data is coming from a local or remote location. Once you have created a storage server, such as a Fiber Channel based SAN(Optical) or iSCSI target, and initiated a set of scripts to access the disks on the target machine. The infrastructure that drives Windows Server ISCSI is a block device (or sometimes, it may be a storage bus) and it consists of various servers which are each running an individual Windows Server.

A user connects to the ISCSI target via a domain name or a fully qualified domain name. The domain name is resolved by a domain name server and the user follows a series of steps in order to establish a secured tunnel for communication. Once the connection is established, data is passed between the ISCSI initiator and the remote target.

1) Configuring Windows Clients for ISCSI Connectivity

The following steps provide detailed guidance for configuring iSCSI-based VGs with Nutanix
using Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 2012 (R2) LATER.

If you have Windows 2003 server Download Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator:

2) Start the iSCSI Service and Set the Startup Type to Automatic

  • Run services.msc in windows client
  • Find the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Service.
  • Start the service.
  • Set the startup type to automatic or delay.
ISCSI Service
ISCSI Service

3) Get the IQN from the Virtual Machine(s)

  • Start the iSCSI control panel (iscsi Initator).
  • Go to the Configuration tab.
    a. Copy the full string under Initiator Name.
  • For example:
Windows ISCSI
Windows ISCSI

5) Create the Nutanix Volume Group

You can perform VG configuration from Prism or by using aCLI from a CVM. The following
example uses aCLI. You only need to perform these steps from any CVM.

  • Connect to any CVM using SSH.
  • Run the aCLI.
  • Create a VG.
Volume Group creation
Volume Group creation
a. vg.create vg_name
b. Example: vg.create db1 shared=true
c. Specify shared if the disks are shared across hosts.

4 Add one or more disks to the VG.

a. vg.disk_create db1 container=container_name create_size=disk_size
b. Example: vg.disk_create db1 container=DATABASE create_size=200G

5 Attach the initiator IQN to the VG. Repeat for each host participating in the cluster

a. vg.attach_external vg_name initiator_name=initiator_iqn
b. Example: vg.attach_external db1

6) Create an iSCSI Discovery Portal

The discovery portal allows the Windows host to discover the available iSCSI targets in the
Nutanix cluster.

  • Search iscsicpl.exe
  • Go to the Discovery tab or click quik connect.
  • Click Discover Portal.
  • Enter the iSCSI data services IP address and click OK.

7) Connect to Discovered Targets and Persist the Connections

  • Start the iSCSI control panel (iscsicpl.exe).
  • Go to the Targets tab
  • Click Advanced.
  • Under the General tab:
    a. For Local adapter, select Microsoft iSCSI Initiator.
    b. For Initiator IP, select the IP address associated with an iSCSI NIC.
    c. For Target portal IP, select the iSCSI data services IP address.
  • Click OK to exit from the General tab.
  • Click OK to exit.
    The target should now appear as connected. Repeat the steps in this section for any additional
    Targets. You can run a scan from diskmgmt.msc or diskpart.exe to discover the disks
  • Format and initialize the disk.

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